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Home > News > Keystone Innovation Grants Foster Job Creation, New Businesses

Keystone Innovation Grants Foster Job Creation, New Businesses

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Recipients from left to right (front row):Sheri Collins, Technology Development Specialist, PA Department of Community & Economic Development; Jennifer Hammaker, Director- Business Development, Innovation Transfer Network; Linda Goldstein, Vice President and COO, Capital Region Economic Development Corporation;Dr. Marian Walters, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Penn State Harrisburg; Secretary Dennis Yablonsky, PA Department of Community & Economic Development

Recipients from left to right (back row):Brian Reilly, Harrisburg KIZ Coordinator, Capital Region Economic Development Corporation; Thomas Armstrong, Technology Development Specialist, PA Department of Community & Economic Development;

Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities, communities, and private enterprise will collaborate to launch new businesses and create jobs with $3.5 million in new state investments, the state’s top economic development official today, Friday, September 5, 2008.

The 23 Keystone Innovation Grants were announced today during Collaboration 2008, a two-day seminar hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The seminar brought together Pennsylvania’s various technology partners from the Life Sciences Greenhouses, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Keystone Innovation Zone staff and board members and university executives to share best practices, gain new perspectives, and discuss issues important for growth and competitiveness in Pennsylvania.“The Keystone Innovation Grants we’re awarding today will be used to provide seed capital for faculty and students to aid in creating new technologies and business opportunities,” DCED Secretary Dennis Yablonsky said. “Through past experience with these investments, we’ve learned that our academic institutions are a tremendous resource and can serve as a catalyst for creating new opportunities in advanced technology industries.”

The Keystone Innovation Grant program is a companion to the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) program. The KIZs were created through Governor Rendell’s original economic stimulus package to gather and align the combined resources of institutions of higher education, private business, commercial lending, venture capital and foundations. The commonwealth provides funding for KIZ creation through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.Since the inception of the KIZ program in 2004, 29 zones have been established, partnering with 91 institutes of higher education, creating 2,769 jobs, and leveraging $440 million.

The grants encourage technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual property between Pennsylvania’s technology-oriented businesses and entrepreneurs and KIZ-participating institutions of higher education and to spur the development of company formation in the commonwealth.The grants provide seed capital for faculty and students to conduct business plan and marketing analysis, prototyping, patent research and filing, intellectual property and licensing, and royalty agreements.

Two previous rounds of the grant program leveraged nearly $86 million through a $6.5 million investment, created 235 jobs, retained an additional 252 jobs, created 71 start-up companies developed 565 new technologies and awarded 242 patents.

In addition to the grants announced today, Yablonsky also announced that the State Science and Technology Institute, the national organization for technology-based economic development, has selected Pittsburgh as the host site for its 2010 annual conference. The event is the nation’s premiere event for sharing ideas on the best ways to encourage technology-based economic development and fostering regional prosperity in a global economy. DCED’s deputy secretary for technology investment, Rebecca Bagley, was appointed to the institute’s board of trustees recently.


Institution Amount Keystone Innovation Zone Affiliation
Bucknell University $75,000 Greater Susquehanna KIZ
Bucks County Community College $200,000 Bucks County KIZ
Carnegie Mellon University $200,000 Greater Oakland KIZ
Drexel University $200,000 University City KIZ
East Stroudsburg University $200,000 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Ed.
Franklin and Marshall College $150,000 Northwest Lancaster KIZ
Lehigh University $200,000 Southside Bethlehem KIZ
Lycoming College $47,929 Williamsport KIZ
Marywood University $150,000 Lackawanna KIZ
Pennsylvania State University $200,000 Navy Yard & I-99 Corridor KIZ
Pennsylvania State University – Behrend College $150,000 Erie KIZ
Pennsylvania State University: DuBois $200,000 Tri-County KIZ
Pennsylvania State University: Harrisburg $200,000 Harrisburg Market KIZ
Robert Morris University $150,000 Beaver KIZ
Saint Francis University $100,000 Greater Johnstown KIZ
Saint Vincent College $99,976 Westmoreland KIZ
Susquehanna University $100,000 University City KIZ
Temple University $189,523 BioLaunch611+ KIZ
Thomas Jefferson University $100,000 University City KIZ
University of Pennsylvania $100,000 University City KIZ
University of Pittsburgh $200,000 Greater Oakland KIZ
Villanova University $150,000 Delaware County KIZ
Wilkes University $150,000 Lackawanna, Luzerne & Pocono Mountain KIZ

For more information, please contact:

Kevin B. Ortiz
Director of Communications
Department of Community & Economic Development
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225 |